Testing Porfile mappings Part 3 National Night Out expected to attract 12,500 in Topeka

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marcus Kemp runs the ball during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marcus Kemp runs the ball during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Published August 1
Updated October 10

Aug. 1--Topeka and Shawnee County had the nation's sixth-highest participation in last year's National Night Out, and this year's crime prevention event is poised to attract more people, county commissioners learned Thursday.

Eighty-seven neighborhoods and more than 10,500 people participated last year while 83 neighborhoods and 12,500 people are expected to take part this year, Commissioners Bob Archer, Bill Riphahn and Kevin Cook heard from Judy Wilson, Neighborhood Watch coordinator for the Safe Streets anti-crime organization.

Wilson spoke at the commission's morning meeting about National Night Out, an event Safe Streets oversees locally in which neighborhoods across Topeka and Shawnee County hold block parties targeted at bringing people together. This year's event will be Aug. 10.

This year's observance will feature attractions here that include live music, an outdoor movie, a pool party, an ice cream social, a pancake feed and an overnight campout, with the latter being held in Topeka's College Hill neighborhood, Wilson said.

For information and to register for National Night Out, call Wilson at 785-266-4606 or email jwilson@safestreets.org.

During a meeting that lasted 25 minutes, commissioners also voted 3-0 to enter into a contract through which the county will pay up to $147,515 to Central Mechanical Construction Co., the only company that submitted a bid, to replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at the parks and recreation department's Big Gage Shelter House, Reynolds Lodge, Garfield Shelter House, Lake Recreation Building and Garfield Community Center gymnastics area.

John Boyd, planning and development director for the parks and recreation department, said that while the county didn't receive as many bids as it would have liked, the department is comfortable with Central Mechanical's bid because that company is familiar with its equipment and has worked with it for a few years.

In other business, commissioners:

--Voted 3-0 to enter into a contract with Cox Business replacing the current agreement to provide Internet service at Central Park, Garfield, Hillcrest, Oakland, Rice and Crestview community centers with an upgraded bandwidth agreement at an additional annual cost of $6,771.90. Before voting, Archer said he supports providing opportunities for disadvantaged areas.

--Voted 3-0 to enter into a contract with Visit Topeka to organize the USA Men's Class E Slow-pitch Tournament, which will be held between Aug. 29 and Sept. 2 at Rueger Park and Shawnee North Community Park. The event will be the first national adult softball tournament held here since 2012. The contract exempts designated areas at those parks from county restrictions regarding alcoholic beverages between 5 p.m. Aug. 29 and 5 p.m. Sept. 2.

--Voted 3-0 to approve a change order increasing the number of days worked by 79 and the amount being paid to Kelley Construction Co. by $69,017.34 to carry out a recently completed renovation and addition project at Washburn Tech East. The change order was expected to be the last for that project, for which the county is being reimbursed for construction expenses by the Joint Economic Development Organization, a body of city and county elected officials.

--Were introduced to Randy Anderson, the county's newly hired planning director.

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